AUBURN — The third school in the country to be certified by the American Bladesmith Society to offer professional training in bladesmithing skills, the New England School of Metalwork is now teaching the first course.
Its ABS-certified bladesmithing training is a 10-day course running from March 8 to 19.
“We’re off to a great start!” comments Dereck Glaser, metalsmithing program director at the New England School of Metalwork. “The class will be full, including students from as far away as Washington and West Virginia. Once again we have a state-of-the-science learning program here in Auburn that will provide practical career opportunities for graduates well into the future.”
Hands-on training will be focused on the art and science of the forged blade, including knife and tool design and fabrication, metal forging and heat treating processes. Students will learn related skills such as handle and guard construction, finishing and marketing in order to earn ABS certification as journeymen and master bladesmiths.
“This type of metalwork training has previously been centered in the middle of the country, yet we believe professional bladesmithing skills will find a solid and sustainable sector of employment and the economy throughout our region,” Glaser said. “These will be steady, longtime occupational skills for students entering our program and for many years looking ahead. That’s our premise.”
Faculty and facilities for the bladesmithing program at the New England School of Metalwork will meet the highest professional standards, according to new faculty member and ABS Mastersmith Don Fogg, also of Auburn. He has previously taught bladesmithing around the world.
Fogg will teach metallurgy forging of blades from bar stock, and faculty member Burt Foster, of Bristol, Va., will demonstrate forging to grinding for the finishing stages of the process.
Mastersmith Greg Neely, chairman of the ABS Board of Directors, confirms that the New England School of Metalwork passed the test for certification. “The people at this school really know what they’re doing, and their facilities are very well-equipped. ABS is proud to be associated with this school and their programs, and this is just the beginning of what we believe will be a long working relationship.”
“There is much to learn about the skills involved in bladesmithing, far more than one might at first expect,” Fogg said. “But when you develop all these skills, that knowledge will have dollar value in the workplace, or in starting your own business.”
Classes are full for the March 8 to 19 program, so the next courses have been scheduled for Nov. 8 to 19. Those classes may fill up soon as well, and students interested may check out the program and register online at www.newenglandschoolofmetalwork.com.
Those interested in further information may visit the American Bladesmith Society’s Web site at www.americanbladesmithsociety.com or call the New England School of Metalwork at 888-753-7502, or check the Web site and request further information at www.newenglandschoolofmetalwork.com.